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Friday, December 20, 2013

The injury puzzle

I stumbled on a link to a Competitor Group article that I actually liked (I know! And usually I'm rolling my eyes with a "Thanks, Captain Obvious, I'll be sure not to eat chili peppers cooked in Metamucil the morning of my marathon."). Of course, it helps that the author is the respected Matt Fitzgerald. I really liked his advice.
He outlines four steps that helped him overcome his chronic knee injury. I could identify with a lot of his experiences, and a lot of the solutions, too.
1. Targeted stretching: This should be obvious for me: I keep having bone injuries related to serious tightness in the hamstrings and adductors. I need to focus on stretching these muscles daily to counteract whatever it is about my running that tightens them up. I've been doing yoga, dynamic and static stretches, and rolling.
Tools of the trade...

I've been doing some of the Iron Strength workouts

2. Corrective strength training: I have weak hips, so my adductors do all the work. Then they tighten up after being overworked. Then I make them work hard again - and the tight muscle tugs the bone, leading to injury. Strengthening my hips and glutes will relieve the adductors of some of the work.
3. Gait retraining. Agh. I haven't attempted this. I do heel strike, but I don't straighten my leg when I do (my knee's bent and my leg is nearly under my body). I guess I should consider better form at some point, but it's a big undertaking.
4. High-tech nutrition. For me, this is loads of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. But it also means remembering to take my levothyroxine every day, and adding in calcitonin periodically to rebuild bone. Neither levothyroxine or calcitonin are supplements, but they are natural products!

Have you had to employ any of these steps? Have you considered them as injury prevention rather than treatment? I've been really trying to think about my running in terms of prevention - being proactive, not reactive!


  1. Hi girl! Good to read your blog again. First blog I've read in over a month for sure. Yes, on all of these! I've been taking vitamin D daily. Epsom salt baths have helped with the magnesium (and they are soothing after a long day with kids), and hopefully the multivitamin is helping with the calcium. I've been doing this Active Release Therapy that seems to be helping tons! And then I make it a point to do my hip and glute work at LEAST on day a week if not more. So important. Keep doing these things...I so so so badly want to see you back in the grind.

    1. Thanks, Amanda! Good to hear from you. I am a big proponent of mag+ for the muscles, and epsom salts are the best way to get it - not that I take my own advice, since I hate baths (HOW do you not get overheated?!) but I recommend them to my achy, active customers! I think 2014 will see me coming back slowly - I just have to be a lot more careful. We shall see!

  2. This all seems like good reading, I've been trying to do some of this stuff too.

    About Seattle, yea that city is confusing. I've been there once back in 2006, and it seemed like a pretty chill city. But for whatever reason, they go completely bonkers for the Seahawks. It was awesome seeing them lose yesterday to the Cardinals. If Seattle loses to Rams next week, and 49ers go 2-0 we would get at least the 2 seed. NFC playoff picture is pretty crazy this year.

    That Saints-Panthers game was weird, it was really boring. Kind of similar to the 49ers-Panthers game a month ago that Carolina won 10-9. Now Saints likely will be the 6 seed, but I think they will win the 1st round - NFC East and NFC North are horrible.

    Side note, but in terms of sports fans, the worst abuse that I've taken from other fans is in Eugene from Oregon fans - they take their stuff way too seriously up there. Seattle doesn't seem to have much going on besides Sounders soccer, so maybe they have the same complex that Eugene Oregon fans do. It was great hearing silence after Arizona scored that game winning TD yesterday.